Average farm cash incomes up 18 per cent to $184k

ABARES Outlook 2021 logo​​​

2 March 2021

Farm cash income for broadacre farms is projected to increase by around 18 per cent at the national level to average $184,000 per farm in 2020–21.

ABARES Assistant Secretary Peter Gooday said the new data was drawn from the latest survey of broadacre and dairy farms.

“Improved seasonal conditions in 2020–21 are the driver for improved broadacre farm performance in Australia,” Mr Gooday said.

“That means a welcome income increase for many farming businesses— particularly those on the east coast who have been doing it tough.

“The boost from better seasonal conditions has been tempered by lower commodity prices and only modest increases in livestock receipts because of herd and flock rebuilding.

“There has been a big turnaround in NSW this year with a record winter crop following several extremely poor years, and elsewhere cash incomes are around or above the 10 year average except in Western Australia.”

Mr Gooday said that incomes for dairy farms were projected to increase by around two per cent to $190,000 per farm in 2020–21.

“Favourable seasonal conditions, increased milk production and lower feeding costs have been partly offset by lower milk prices in southern regions,” Mr Gooday said.

The effect of COVID-19 on labour supply has had a limited impact on overall broadacre farm production or costs.

“The low labour intensity of broadacre agriculture means that constraints on labour supply have been minor relative to other agricultural industries such as horticulture,” Mr Gooday said.

ABARES farm performance results provide the only comprehensive picture of farm financial performance for Australian broadacre and dairy farms.

Data is drawn from the ABARES annual Australian Agricultural and Grazing Industries Survey (AAGIS), Australian Dairy Industry Survey (ADIS) and the broadacre farm microsimulation model farmpredict.

The full report and data dashboard, released at the ABARES Outlook 2021 conference today, can be viewed on the ABARES website.

Last reviewed: 2 March 2021
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